JEA assistance programs.

The main utility company in the region, JEA, provides a number utility services to Duval County and northeastern Florida. The company offers water, electric, and sewer services throughout the region and they provide coverage to hundreds of thousands of families. If you are struggling with paying your bills, JEA can also direct households to several different financial assistance programs.

JEA was created by, and provides utility services to, the City of Jacksonville and other towns. Several other nearby communities and counties are served as well. Many people fall behind on their bills from time to time, and this is mostly as a result of an unexpected financial hardship such as a job loss. When this occurs, be sure to contact the company as soon as possible to see what type of payment extensions or other assistance programs may be available to you.

One of the main programs available is known as Neighbor to Neighbor. This can help low income families. Priority is often on the disabled, elderly, and families with children in the Jacksonville region. It can help when a household requires crisis assistance. The program relies on donations from customers and local businesses in order to address those emergency energy-related needs. Funds can be used to pay all types of utilities, even sewer or waste water costs.

It was created back in the mid 1980s. All contributions made from the community since then have gone directly to JEA customers in need of help. Neighbor to Neighbor is run in partnership with local non-profit agencies such as the Duval County Salvation Army and local community action agencies.

If you contribute, no expenses are deducted by the company or by any of those social service agencies that work with them. All money will be used to help the less fortunate and is passed out as contributions to them. Every dollar that someone donates counts and can make a difference in the lives of people facing a crisis. Many utility disconnections, whether electric or water, have been prevented as a result of this program. To learn more, apply, or donate, call the JEA Customer Care Center at (904) 665-6000.

JEA also fully participates in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Community action agencies across the state and the company’s service territory receive funding from the federal government on an annual basis. The funds are used to help low income families and households pay their electric and air conditioning bills. Non-profit community action agencies both process applications and distribute funding to qualified applicants.





Other assistance is offered for paying electric and water bills. Struggling and low income customers in need of financial assistance or cash grants for bills can receive help from local non-profits such as the Salvation Army or Catholic Charities. These groups work closely with and in partnership with volunteers, businesses, community organizations and leaders to raise funds and provide help to area residents. To learn more on some of these regional agencies in Duval County, dial (904) 632-0600. Or if you live in Jacksonville or other northeastern counties, call (904) 632-0600.

With the northeastern part of Florida having a large percentage of senior citizens, older JEA customers can apply for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program/EHEAP. This is an option for people over the age of 60. This may be an option for struggling customers in both the winter heating seasons and funds can also be used during the hot summer months. In addition, EHEAP may also offer vouchers that seniors can use to buy a fan or even an air conditioner. This is mostly offered if they are faced with a medical condition or are at risk.

JEA can be reached at (904) 665-6000. Representatives can explore various payment plans or assistance programs with customers that are struggling with their bills.




By Jon McNamara

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